Sony’s new portable console, the PlayStation Vita, saw a 78 percent drop in sales in its first two weeks at retail in Japan.

According to researcher Media Create, The PlayStation Vita went from 324,859 sales in its first week to only 72,479 in its second, ceding the top-selling position to the Nintendo 3DS (482,200) and second place to the older PlayStation Portable (101,121).

Speculation suggests that the Vita’s steep recommended retail price (JPY 24,000; NZD 400) and the lack of a launch title from the extremely popular Monster Hunter series could both be having a significant impact on current sales. Some now anticipate a price cut ahead of the portable console’s Western release in February.

Others, including Epic Games president Mike Capps, believe that the era of the portable console is simply over, as most consumers are now content to play portable games on smartphones and tablets, and no longer see the need for a dedicated portable gaming device.

The PlayStation Vita goes on sale in New Zealand on the 23rd of February. It comes in two editions, WiFi and 3G/WiFi. The WiFi model is to retail at NZ$449.95, the 3G/WiFi model will retail at NZ$549.95.